Saturday, January 12, 2013

"Now Here is Also Nowhere Part 1"

From the Henry Art Gallery website: "Now Here is also Nowhere is a two-part meditation and non-linear account of how—in making artworks about ideas and intangible concepts— artists continually question and destabilize the nature of the art object."

I haven't laughed out loud repeatedly in a gallery in a long time. It's quite refreshing when it does happen. I encountered Pierre Bismuth's work before on i like this art but this was the first piece I viewed in person: Following the Right Hand of Sigmund Freud, 2009. It is a one and half minute loop shot on 16 mm film featuring a laser pointer.

Tom Friedman always captures my interest and Open Black Box suspended from the ceiling continues his use of voids and drawing the audience's attention to areas of the gallery not normally used.

Stefan Brüggemann's This Work Should Be Turned Off When I Die made me question how the gallery attendants and preparators feel each time they unplug the neon sculpture at the end of the day or pack it for exhibition. I loved the temporary quality of it and wonder if there are instructions for the work upon the artist's death.

I was also fond of Ján Mančuška's While I walked... in my studio in ISCP, 323 W. 39th Street, #811, New York, 2003. The story wrapped around the room and one had to duck underneath it without touching it to finish reading. The materials were a textile rubber band with white silk screened text but it was reminiscent of old typewriter ribbon.

Hans Peter Feldmann's Lovers is another work devoted to absence - there was also a Felix Gonzalez Torres installation of white candies on display. I enjoyed the presentation of this found image with the wood grain activating the cavities where faces once were.

My favorite work in the exhibition was Francis Alÿs's Watercolor, 2010. It is an inspiration for contemplating what to do with my clear water samples. The video comprises collecting water, traveling with water, unceremoniously dumping water, and the interplay between the color of the water and the name of the location. It reminded me of taking a rock from each earthwork visited in 2009, bringing it to the next location and throwing it into the artwork. My actions remain open as the rock from Amarillo Ramp has yet to be deposited into Spiral Jetty. Alÿs closes the loop however in under two minutes.

I wish I was able to see Part 2 but the coming months will be filled with pilgrimages to the Wexner to see Christian Marclay's The Clock, Chicago for the Society for Photographic Education's 50th anniversary conference, and Photolucida in Portland, Oregon.

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